12/26/2014 3:59:21 PM

{Green Your Holiday} Clean Up

We are greening our holidays and hope you will join us. Twice a week between now and the end of the year we'll give you tips for reducing your holiday carbon footprint. Why should we care? Because polar bears are facing a huge threat from all of us—global warming. Let's give bears a white holiday season by reducing our carbon footprint.

Christmas, Hanukah, and Solstice have come to a close. Presents are unwrapped, food is eaten, merriment has been had. What's next?

Clean up.

You can make your clean-up and take-down polar bear-friendly with these tips.

  • Running a full dishwasher uses less water than doing dishes by hand. Make room for a full dishwasher load by hand washing large pots and pans. Using an Energy Star machine can cut utility bills by more than $40 per year and save you 230 hours of personal time.
  • Compost your tree and any other natural materials you've used to decorate. Many towns will compost for you. If your city or town doesn't have curbside compost pick up, find out where to drop the tree off. The Farmer's Almanac has other suggestions for using a cut Christmas tree after the holidays.
  • If you bought a living tree this year with the intent of planting it outside, check out these care guidelines.
  • Now is the time to hit the after-holiday sales for LED lights. The amount of electricity consumed by just one 7-watt incandescent bulb could power 140 LEDs — enough to light two 24-foot (7.3-meter) strings, according to EnergyStar.gov

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